3-7 days hilke around the Boadella Lake
This donkey trail leads you in a big circle around the Pantano de Boadella, a crystal clear lake in between the hills and mountains of the Pre-Pyrenees. In this remote area of the Region of the Alt Emporà you will find a lot of cork oak forests, some nice middle-age villages and a beautiful mountainous landscape. The ways are easy and the days are not too long, so you can enjoy the nice places to take a swim in the rivers or the lake. Also, this is a good option for trekking with kids, or for a first donkeytrekking and/or camping adventure.
The trail starts and ends in Darnius. Darnius is a small charming village in between the mountains, about 40 km away from the Costa Brava.
You can do the trail in 3 to 5 days by sleeping in accommodations or in 3 to 7 days with your own tent. Please check the trail map below for better understanding.
Donkey trekking 3 -4 day option
Darnius – Maçanet de Cabrenys
Difference in altitude: +531m / – 360m
After an introduction in Donkey care, saddling and packing, your Adventure can start!
The first part of the trail leads you out of the village through forests and next to meadows. On the way you will pass a little Hermitage Sant Esteve de Llop. Then the trail descends towards the lake getting to one of the rivers that flow into the lake. Now, the trail turns uphill through the forests towards Maçanet, passing el “Moli d’en Robert”, a restaurant next to the river in the middle of the forest.
Maçanet de Cabrenys – St. Lorenç de la Muga
Distance: 11,5 km
Difference in altitude: +392m /- 586m
Passing through cork oak forests, you will cross the mountain and walk down the other side to the valley of the Muga river. Here you reach the nice middle-age village St. Lorenz de la Muga. The Muga river brings fresh water from the mountain that lies on the border with France to the Mediterranean. On its way the river flows into the “Pantano de Boadella“, a nice lake.
You can choose to sleep either in the “Hostal del Aigua“ or in your own tent in the Camping “la Fradera”
* If you bring your own camping gear and want to have a extra adventure, it is possible to sleep under the stars beside the lake between Darnius and Sant Llorenç or Maçanet de Cabrenys
St. Lorenç de la Muga- Darnius
Distance: 11,5 km
Difference in altitude: + 451m / – 426m
Today you walk around the Lake. You will pass the dam wall of the water reservoir and then arrive at the beach of the lake. In summer time you can walk along the lakeside to Darnius where you can spend the night in “Can Massot“, a Rural Bed and Breakfast (Casa Rural) next to the Village.
Option for 1st, 2nd or 3rd day
If you want to take it easy, you can stay one more day in any one of these places to enjoy a break, or to do a roundtrip
Do you want to have a longer trip? Here are some possibilities:
1st extention (1 to 3 days longer)
Instead of Darnius to Camping Maçanet de Cabrenys
Darnius- La Vajol (8,3 km)
Difference in altitude: +482/ -144
From Darnius you follow the trail to La Vajol, a small village in the mountain range of Las Salinas. From here you have a spectacular view over the Empordà to the Mediterranean sea. On the way you will pass a dolmen (a 6000 year old grave from the megalith culture). In La Vajol you can stay in a Hostal (Cala Conxita). Also, in La Vajol you will find the “font del l’Amor” the fountain of love…. let’s see what happens if you drink the water 🙂
La Vajol- Camping Maçanet de Cabrenys (11,5 km)
Difference in altitude: + 491/- 655
The hike leads you from La Vajol downhill towards Maçanet de Cabrenys. On the way you will pass an old talc mine. Later, you will find a fountain and also some centuries old trees. You will pass the picturesque village of Maçanet de Cabrenys. On the way to the Camping you will come across some natural swimming pools in the river, a refreshing place to take a break.
LaVajol – Refugi las Salinas – Camping Maçanet
Distance: 10km and 14 km
If you bring a tent and food you also have the option to get to the refugio Santuari de la Mare de Déu de les Salines. From there you reach the top of the mountains and you will have a spectacular view to the Pyrenees and of the French and Spanish coasts. Also, you will see different flora with centuries old beech and chestnut trees.
2and extention (1 or 2 days longer)
Instead of Camping Maçanet to St. Lorenç de la Muga:
Camping Maçanet de Cabrenys- Albanya (Hípica Tatanca) (18,3 km)
Difference in altitude: +844m/- 966m
From the Camping Maçanet you take the GR11. This long distance hike brings you to Albanya. You will go through chestnut and oak forests over the mountains of the pre-pyrenees. On the way you will find some abandoned old farm houses and a church which is the home of a bat colony. On the way, you will have some nice views over the region of the Alt Empordà and into the Garrotxa. The day ends in the Hípica Tatanca, next to the village of Albanya, where there is a horse barn with accommodation for your donkey as well as accommodation for you. Or, you may go to the Camping Bassegoda Park.
If the distance is too long to do in 1 day, you can do it in 2 days by camping somewhere along the way.
(In the Hípica, there is the possibility to have breakfast by special request. For dinner you can go to the Camping (1km) or make your own dinner in the Accommodation as there is a kitchen available for use. In this accommodation it is not possible to get a packed lunch)
Albanya- St. Lorenç de la Muga (8,85 km)
Difference in altitude: +246m /- 317m
From Albanya you will follow the Muga river. Sometimes you will have to cross it, which is a refreshing pleasure. After this nice and easy hike you will reach St. Lorenz de la Muga where you will stay in the Hostal or in the Camping
– Best travel time: Beginning of March to end of June and beginning of September to mid-November. Especially for the hotter time of the year (May/June and September) we recommend this trail because of the swimming possibilities you have on the way.
– For lunch you have the possibility to buy food in the village (Darnius, Maçanet de Cabrenys and Albanya (La Vajol has a very small shop), or you can get a lunch-pack from some of the accommodations, please ask by the reservation
– For dinner you can go to a restaurant. There is always one next to the accommodation or you may prepare your own dinner in some places (Darnius, Maçanet, Albanya).
– Listed prices of accommodation not guaranteed
– When making the reservation, please tell them that you will be Donkey trekking
– If you have any questions or you need help for the reservation please don’t hesitate to contact us!
– For the itinerary we recommend the map of Alt Empordà (Les Salines- Bassegoda), Editorial Alpina, 1:50’000
– The circle trail can be done by hiking in either direction
– Prices for the donkey you find here (incl. Introduction, Donkey, Pack saddle, Saddlebags, Donkey Food, Grooming-stuff, GPS)
– Transport of the donkey to Darnius: 80€ (1-2 donkeys)
For reservation of the Accommodation:
Darnius: Can Massot
Tel. 972 535 700
Prices: single room 41€/ double room:70€/ triple room: 83€/ quadruple room 99€ (incl. Breakfast)
La Vajol: Cala Conxita
Tel: 0034/972 535 213
30 € / Person
Maçanet de Cabrenys: Camping (Overnight in Bungalow or own tent)
Tel: 0034/667 776 648
Prices: Parcela small (for tents) 14,00€/ Adult 7,00€/ Child (from 2 to 10 years) 5,50€
Hípica Tatanca (Accommodation)
Tel: 0034/722 221 288
25 € / Person (without breakfast), Donkey: 12 €
Camping Bassegoda Park (Tent)
Tel: 972 54 20 20 oder 669 579 105
Sant Lorenç de la Muga:
Hostal del Aigua (acmmodation)
Tel: 0034/972 569 225
Price: Double room 60-70€ incl. Breakfast. Extra bed(child) 20€
Camping la Fradera (Tent)
Tel: 972 54 20 54
Getting to Darnius:
By Public Transport
From the AP7 in the direction from Barcelona to France take the Figueres exit (N º 3), follow the N-II in direction of France (6 kms), then at km 766 take the road to the left of the N-II in the direction of Darnius/ Maçanet de Cabrenys (Gi-502).
From the AP7 direction to Barcelona take the La Jonquera exit (N º 2), then the N-II in the direction of Figueres. Then, at km 767, take the right in the direction of Maçanet de Cabrenys/ Darnius (Gi-502).